Dayne, who earlier this off-season let the Giants know that he wanted more playing time or a trade, is working with a personal trainer in order to get into better shape. As a result, he's not at Giants Stadium – nor does he plan to be anytime in the near future.
"I'll be there when it's mandatory," Dayne said in an exclusive interview with The Giant Insider. "But to come in now? No. I'm going to stay [away] as long as it takes me to get into the best shape possible.
"I want to get better for me and to help extend my career. Maybe what I was doing last year wasn't enough. Hopefully I'll get some playing time out of it."
A few weeks back, Dayne was at Giants Stadium with a teammate when he ran into Fassel, who in no uncertain terms told the former Heisman Trophy winner that he better be there on March 24, when the off-season program began.
Dayne admits that he told Fassel he would be there, but now believes that staying home and receiving some personal attention is actually what's best for him.
"This isn't a knock on the conditioning program," Dayne said, "but this is what's best for me. I'm just trying to get into shape so I can get better. When you work out with a team that's not as easy to do.
"I just want to play and help the team win."
Upon learning that Dayne was absent Monday morning, Fassel, who's in Phoenix at the NFL meetings, issued this statement through the team's public relations department:
"All I know is Ron Dayne said he would be here for the off-season program. I haven't heard anything differently from Ron since I talked to him a couple weeks ago. If we are still dealing with these same issues when I return from the League meetings next week, I will get to the bottom of it and find out what's going on."
Dayne said he understands where Fassel is coming from – but that's it's not going to change his plan, which is to stay away from the Meadowlands until he's required to be there, at the veterans mini-camp in late May.
"I'm sorry that I upset Coach Fassel," Dayne said. "It certainly wasn't my intention. I just want to do what I can do to get better. I need to do what's best for my career. Working with a personal trainer seems to be the best thing."